Showing posts from June, 2017

Each of Us is Christ

In case you haven't noticed this before, and I am sure many people have, each of us is Christ.

That is to say that each of us is quite convinced we are persecuted for the "truth" of our beliefs, even to the point we feel we are being "crucified" for them, metaphorically if not literally.

So we are not only each experiencing, at least metaphorically anyway, the life and death, but indeed the passion and resurrection, of Christ. And we rise again from the dead, so to speak, the way the lotus sheds its skin, and the caterpillar becomes the butterfly.

We rise like the phoenix from the ashes of our "beliefs" and, all too often, end up creating new one's that are different from the beliefs that proceeded them in name only. Just look at Judaism and Christianity for example.

The Catholic Church has risen to become far more powerful than the Sanhedrin ever was, and has murdered far more people to defend its authority over truth than the Sanhedrin or the He…

The Trouble With Original Sin

Assuming we are born with a penchant for murdering each other is just an excuse we give for murdering each other.

Only God Makes Genocide Moral

Perhaps the greatest "miracle" of religion is that it has convinced so many billions of people that the God who threw us into this gladiatorial arena of life and death, should be regarded as necessarily "benevolent" for having done so.

Many Christians often claim that a "belief" in God is not only necessary for people to know the difference between "right and wrong," but to act accordingly as well, "for you will be judged by God at the end of time." This is true, even though the idea of "God" such Christians are referring to necessarily operates outside of any such distinctions. And he operates outside of those distinctions by being something - in fact, the ONLY thing -  that is per-determined by Christians as necessarily "good" a priori, so that anything such a "God" does, must therefore be good, even if it would be "evil" if anyone else engaged in anything even close to it. 

If Joseph Stalin o…

The Difference Between the Rich & The Poor

When Jesus says "the poor you will always have with you, "  what he was trying to say was that as long as we have a system of money, we will always have a system that allows some to have all and others to have nothing.

The theology of money is economics, of course, of whom Adam Smith is considered to be the Abraham of American Capitalism, and Milton Friedman is the Messiah of the "Money Changers" in the temple of Wall Street, who politicians everywhere worship like a golden calf.

Wealth and poverty demark the boundaries between Heaven and Hell, with a "middle class" that languishes in the purgatory of always fearing the one and hoping for the other. But they do not constitute immutable objective realities, like gravity or the seasons, but are wholly man made. And they are wholly man made out of a clever means of power and control, which is based on nothing but a "belief" in money.

 Make no mistake, there is no real "god" that humanity…

The Torture of the Comfy Chair: How a Comfort Zone is like an Iron Maiden

The comedy troupe Monty Python once did a skit about the Spanish Inquisition, only instead of using the kind of actual torture instruments relied upon to convert people of God's love and existence by the actual Spanish Inquisition, the torture instrument used by Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition was a  "comfy chair."

That we think of a comfy chair as being the very opposite of a torture device is actually illustrative more of how our own mind tends to categorize things than the actual difference between a comfy chair and a torture device. And this is because, in many ways, a comfy chair can be one of the worst torture devices there is.

I remember watching a Navy Seal show marathon one weekend with my room mate, where both of us say on our respective couches for no less than 10 straight hours watching people pushing themselves through excruciating exercises during boot camp training, just so they could become Navy Seals.

After that 10 hour session, our backs were kil…

God & The Pleasure of Pain

It never seems to occur to people that, if we are made in the image and likeness of God, then perhaps the pleasure we enjoy from inflicting pain is simply a reflection of God as well. After all, God certainly seemed to enjoy the great flood and the brutal murder of His own Jesus, at least as much as He enjoyed the Crusades and the Inquisitions. And even if God didn't "enjoy" all of that, we certainly seem to. Just look at the 20th century alone.

Toward that end, I have never understood the great flood story of how God drowned everyone on earth for being so evil, since everything that has happened since that time has essentially played out like Cain slaughtering Able, much in the same way the Sanhedrin slaughtered Christ, writ large.

If you consider that all of the starvation in the world, and the wars, the genocides, the diseases, the slavery, and the poverty and brutality (and what is poverty but a highly designed man made system of brutality?), as well as the growing …

Religion & The Paradox of Submission

Religion teaches children that they should be independent from their biological parents, but totally dependent upon their "spiritual" parents, Mary and God/Jesus. (That Jesus is both Mary's son and God, makes the Bible a bit like Oedipus, of course.)

It is also a religion that teaches people to love freedom and hate authoritarianism on the one hand, even as it requires them to be submissive to the will of an authoritarian God (and his Catholic Church, at least spiritually speaking anyway) in order to achieve "true freedom."

That a person can only be "free" by hypnotizing them self into believing they must always "obey" an authoritarian God, only demonstrates the miracle of how the human mind can make sense of pretty much anything it wants to believe, no matter how paradoxical or self contradictory it may be.

Such a claim is not merely an indictment of religion, of course, but of the human mind itself. For it is how all institutions, be they …

Have You Ever Noticed...

Have you ever noticed that the American Revolution is essentially the story of every conflict there is, was, or has ever been?

And our interpretation of that conflict boils down to our "beliefs" about which group of people - the indigenous or the foreigners - should rule.

And the ones we always think should rule are the ones we think are most like ourselves.

You Cannot Truly Love Someone You Fear

Love and fear are probably the two most powerful human forces we know of. But they are clearly not the same thing, and are very often the very opposite of each other.

But God is a paradoxical figure who commands (how can a person be expected to "love" on command?) that we engage in the paradox of both loving Him, and fearing Him, lest we be thrown into a lake of fire for failing to do so to His majesty's liking.

More interesting, however, is how this clear contradiction, is never a problem for the Christian, who is so afraid of the fires of hell and the immorality of secular society, that they actually mistake their "fear" for a "love" of God who will save them from both, even though He created both.

There is probably not a Christian alive who would ever "love" a Muslim Shah or Caliph or King, simply because he commanded them to, or be tortured and executed. Yet such a Christian expects the Muslim, and all others for that matter, to willfull…

The Fatal Yet Inescapable Problem with Beliefs

For "believers" the world over, the entire point of life comes down to nothing but what you believe. Regardless of basically ANYTHING else, one's life boils down to simply standing before a "God," who will judge how a person should spend eternity based on their "beliefs."

Those beliefs come down to having "believed" in the right religion, or the right god, or the right morality, or the right whatever. If anyone FAILS to "believe" the right things, then, they're thrown into hell for being such a dolt.

But if life is all about necessarily having the right "beliefs" about God, religion, morality, etc, than it can only work if everyone on the planet is willing to accept - necessarily! - that someone, somewhere, HAS the right beliefs. And more importantly, that person has to know exactly how to apply those beliefs in an ever changing and increasingly complex world.

Of course, the Catholics have their Pope, who can speak &q…

The Trouble with Marian Apparitions

Mary, the Mother of God, is said to have appeared to many people over the years. One of which was the apparations at Fatima to three children in 1917.  But looking at the transcripts, one is left with the lingering sense of "what the fuck!?"

First off, sending Mary to appear to children is a bit like Bill Gates sending his mother to tell an employee that their department is under-performing, and the big guy upstairs is getting pissed off.

But aside from that, if we look at the transcripts, as I said, it gets even harder to believe. In fact, if these transcripts were provided to Christians from Muslims who claimed they were spoken by Mohammad (or his mother, Aminah bint Wahb) while he (or she) appeared to three shepherds, not a single Christian on the planet would take them seriously.  

For example, one of the children apparently asks Mary where some people they know have landed after they died, and Mary lets them know they're not all love'n it in the Golden Arches…

The Pros & Cons of Thinking About Religion

I think too much. And in an information society, this habit of thinking too much can make a person's natural curiosity feel like quicksand. But that only happens "if," and after, a person realizes they think too much, and they begin to notice how much their own "desire to know" everything - a "desire" which led Adam & Eve loose Eden in a gamble with a serpent - can potentially sabotage all of their other desires.

Religion is, to my mind at least, the perfect example of this perfect paradox of thinking too much. On the one hand, the rituals, teachings, and beliefs of religion, serve to make "thinking" easier regarding morality, death, existence, love, and so on. Hence, a person can rest assured that their life has meaning, that their "salvation" is secured (as well as it can be), and that justice will be meted out to all perfectly in the end.

On the other hand, religion assures that same person that they can only rest their mind…

Fostering Our Dependence on God

One of the great paradoxes almost universally overlooked by stalwart Christian parents the world over, is how such parents strive to teach their children how to be independent in life but dependent in religion, as if the latter is the only and necessary means of obtaining the former. In fact, Conservative Christians loath the idea that anyone should be dependent upon "big government" for anything at all, even as they practically demand that everyone is, and should be, dependent upon God (i.e. their Church and their religion) for everything!

What parent thinks it is best to raise a child to forever need to rely on their parents? What parent thinks the best way to raise a child is by first teaching the child they are flawed and sinful, but by devoting themselves to loving and worshiping them alone, the parent promises to make that child better?  And yet, this is exactly what St. Augustine is applauded for doing to Christians.

Basically, St. Augustine argued that everyone bare…

Of Love & War

So I am watching this movie and before you know it, these two girls start having sex with each other, and it was not a porn movie.

Fifty years ago, or less, people in America would've thrown a public fit about such a scene, but today it's only the staunchly Conservatives Christians who get their feathers all ruffled by it. For them, such scenes are NOT simply a reflection of reality (at least the reality for some people anyway, the way L. A. gang movies represented reality for poor black kids growing up in the ghetto) but intended to lure people into accepting the idea that homosexuality is NOT an abomination, as the Bible claims.

Putting aside the fact that the Bible is responsible for, and brags about, more genocide than Mein Kampf ever was, that such Christians stake their moral convictions on a book in which God repeatedly calls for genocide, the murdering of babies and women, and plenty other blood soaked horrors that makes a book by Stephen King look like a Harlequin ro…

Why God Is All Too Human

If a ant or a gorilla suddenly gained the same sense of self awareness that humans have (and it's not a proven fact that they do not already) would their first questions be, "why am I here?," " where do I come from?" and "what's the meaning of life?"

Well, only if we expect that they think exactly like we do. Consider how much like a human being, human beings presume God to be.

Assuming, or really presuming, that God created human beings is NOT to think like a God, but to think exactly like a human being. After all, if we find a watch, we assume it was made by a watch maker, who happens to be and think exactly like ourselves, at least on some level. And why? Because we "make" things.

Hence, to say "God made everything" is simply to demonstrate how imprisoned by our own human perspective we really are. But would not a species that has no need for making watches imagine a "god" or "gods" in a very different wa…

The Devil's Universe

The theological questions raised by the prospects of a multiverse are as infinite as they are fascinating. Consider this:

Christians and Muslims alike tend to think in a very binary way, as if there is simply this life and the next, and the next is either an eternity in heaven or hell. But the multiverse poses an infinite array of problems to such thinking.

For example, how can we know that the universe we are trapped in is not one that the Devil created behind God's back, and that that's why everything on planet Earth is forced to survive by eating each other?

Maybe Lucifer got kicked out of heaven for demanding to be "like God," because he had, like the Wizards apprentice, stumbled upon the magic necessary for creating universes. Or perhaps, like Egor working with Dr. Frankenstein, he had learned how he could do with the raw materials that make up our physical reality, not simply all of the very same things that Christians "believe" only God himself could…

House of Cards

It's ironic that it was only after people thought up the concept of God that we may have ever started treating each other like the devil.

If you watch House of Cards, what is interesting to notice is how Francis and Claire Underwood are like Adam and Eve, with America being a "garden of Eden" compared to much of the world, and the apple that dangles before them is power; power to hold central control over the Garden of Earth, which was the same power that Satan tempted Christ with in the desert; power to shape perceptions, especially your own, so you can act "like God," by acting like Satan to ensure people "believe" you're their Savior.

Or as Shakespeare put in in Hamlet, "And thus I clothe my naked villainy / With old odd ends stolen forth from holy writ/And seem a saint when most I play the devil."

As such, given the amount of murder and lies that they are willing to engage in, we can also think of the Underwood's as the personific…

On Mistakes

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that "Mistakes are the stuff of which the web of life is made, and he who lives longest only spins out the more of it."

Every single person in history, that we revere, love, and admire today, for their courage to do what was right, started out being hated by the majority. They are like Juror 8 in Twelve Angry Men, played by Henry Fonda, who everyone opposes and some even hate, until he is able to win them over, one by one, to seeing things more clearly, to seeing the "truth."

It is only later in history, from Christ to Martin Luther King or Mohammad Ali, that societies recognize them as hero's for trying to improve humanity. The majority always sees them as an enemy to humanity at the time, however.

So it is with our mistakes, that we often think we are doing something right even when it turns out later to have been a huge mistake. It is often only after an outcome, that we can know whether to label a past decision right or wrong, go…

The Apple Is Every "Sin"

Christian's think the Genesis story in the Bible, about how Adam and Eve disobeyed by eating an apple in the Garden of Eden, only tells about "original sin," when in fact, it is the story of "every sin." And the story of Christ as being about a God who became man to redeem us for that "original sin," when if fact it is also the story of how mankind is God, in a sense, which is why the Catholic's say that "the Body of Christ" is humanity. But in that same sense, humanity is also the devil and the serpent.

Every good and every evil that humanity exhibits and endures, is an act of charity or cruelty that it alone visits upon itself. The story of Christ, in this sense, is simply an allegory, using a "man-God" as a metaphor for mankind, with every drop of blood that drips from "the body of Christ" representing the poor and the oppressed, who all must suffer what they must, at the brutal yet indifferent hands of the powerfu…